Significant inventions in 2014 - A Personal Electric Airplane That Won't Need A Runway (vertical – landing plane)

More than half of all personal aircraft accidents occur during takeoffs or landings. That’s why inventor and entrepreneur JoeBen Bevirt and its team has created a personal electric airplane called S2 that takes off vertically, like a helicopter, and flies aerodynamically, like an airplane.

No full-scale prototype existed at the end of April 2014 , but Bevirt and his team have built about two dozen 10-pound models to demonstrate their concept works. NASA has taken notice and is now funding the development of a 55-pound unmanned aerial vehicle. Supercomputer simulations of a full-scale, 1,700-pound S2 suggest it could fly two people about 200 miles (New York City to Boston) in an hour on 50 kilowatt-hours of electricity, or roughly equivalent to 1.5 gallons of fuel used by a typical two-seat airplane—which would make the new aircraft about five times more efficient.


Modern compact electric motors operate times more efficiently than a typical personal airplane’s combustion engines. Bonus: More motors improve redundancy and lower the risk of accidents.


Retractable arms reposition the motors to transition between vertical takeoff, forward flight, and landing.


Computers adjust motor speed 4,000 times per second to optimize efficiency, reduce noise, and improve flight control.

Prepared by European Patent Registration and Consulting Services GmbH